One of the pleasant surprises for the Maryland Terrapins last year was the play at cornerback of sophomore Cameron Chism. After senior Nolan Carroll went down with an injury early in the season, Chism stepped up his play, putting together four interceptions and 66 tackles over the course of the year.
Chism has been pleased with spring practice so far this year, and is looking forward to the 2010-2011 campaign.
"So far it's going pretty well," he said. "[We're] still adjusting to getting out there and running around, doing my deal from last year, so it's going well so far."
The cornerback has certain areas that he is looking to work on in order to become a better player, including giving up less big plays.
"Just work harder than I did last year," he said. "I just want to do better than I did last year, not give up as many deep balls, that's my main focus for this spring. For the team, I just want to win. That's it."
However, Chism knows that if does give up the deep ball, he has a safety net behind him in defensive backs Kenny Tate and Antwine Perez, something that helps put the corner's mind at ease.
"It's always good having someone like that," he said. "Because you know, just in case you do get beat, or you don't jam like you're supposed to, you've got guys behind you who've got your back, so it really does help having them back there, it's a confidence thing."
At the other cornerback position, the Terps have a position battle between Trenton Hughes and Dexter McDougle, and Chism talked about what he's seen from those two in spring so far.
"For Dex, he's got great ball skills," he said. "When the ball;s in the air, nine times out of ten he's going to catch it or nobody's going to catch it. And as far as Trent, I've seen improvement in him as well, he settled down and focused on his job rather than going out there and playing well."
Chism singled out Avery Graham, Darin Drakeford, and David Mackall as players on the defensive side who have impressed so far in the spring, and said the freshmen, including Mackall, will only get better.
"They're looking pretty good, they just have to learn their assignments," he said. "They're out there running around, off all athleticism, but I feel like when they learn to play and learn their assignments, they'll be way better, but they're still doing well."
Good play by Chism will be key to the Terps' success next year, who struggled at times with pass defense. The Terps open up their 2010 campaign on September 6th with a home game against Navy.
Better Know A Terp - Cameron Chism
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